8

Aug

That Joy May Be Made Complete [by having you share in the joy of salvation]

Written by Steven Frey

Javier and Cristina with Pame Bible translators

We are writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be made complete [by having you share in the joy of salvation]. 1 John 1:4 (Amplified Bible)

The summer is swiftly passing and I have been neglectful of including you in the powerful things that God is doing in the work in Mexico, especially among the Pame tribal group in the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains to the west and southwest of Cd. Valles where Javier and Cristina and their missionary teams have been ministering for the past several years. I want to update you so that you too will find delight in what God is doing among this isolated people group and will be able to share in the joy of the salvation that they are also beginning to find as Believers.

The first baptism among Pame Believers

I think that it will be beneficial to begin with a letter that Javier wrote at the end of May of this year. It gives a rounded look at how God began to open doors for Javier and Cristina to begin working in the Pame region within the historical background of their ongoing ministry over the years. Ministry and Christian service do not happen in a vacuum. Rather, they are the fruit of lives that are already yielded to God.

Since Javier wrote this letter about two months ago much has happened, and God has continued to open doors for the gospel and to tear down strongholds of the enemy. But first of all I will let Javier speak in his own words:

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To the God of Israel be the glory always in our lives because he is Lord and the owner of our very existence.

Jesus told us “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19, Mark 16:15).

“Go” is an imperative word that my wife Cristina Núñez, and I, your humble servant Javier Santos, have taken as part of the core of our being – as a part of who we are as workers sowing the Word of God into communities in response to Jesus’ command.

Throughout the journey of our spiritual labor the Holy Spirit has guided us to enter various communities in different ways, and using differing techniques. In the communities of San Ciro and Palo Alto it was through utilizing evangelistic campaigns to preach the gospel. In San Rafael, through our contact with friends we planted a church. In Ciudad Valles we were able to minister to a small group of believers, touching their lives daily until an autonomous church was established. In 2015 we began to work among the Tenek ethnic people group and churches were established among the Tenek villages.

In 2017 God clearly directed us to another ethnic people group located in the southwestern regions of our state of San Luis Potosí – the Pame tribal group – making His call to us very clear and unmistakable. This tribal group has historically been very closed and distrustful of any outsiders. They speak their own language called Xi-Ui, and live in the rugged regions of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains to the west and southwest of Cd. Valles. This call has all been very new and stretching for us, but it is also very interesting.

I myself am ethnically Tenek and speak the Tenek dialect. However, I do not speak or understand Xi-Ui, making communication difficult at times. Thankfully many of the Pame also speak Spanish as well, making this our common language. Still, having ethnic roots myself, even though not Pame, nonetheless allows me to be identified with them and gives me a point of acceptance and connection with this usually closed tribal group.

God has opened doors for us throughout the Pame region and it has become clear to us that there are four specific religious centers made up of several communities within each. The first of these that opened to us is the town of Tanlacut with its surrounding district. In the town of Tanlacut itself God has now established a group of Christian believers, and through personal evangelism and witnessing we have managed to touch four communities in the surrounding region with the gospel, and a Body of Believers has been established in these.

The second Pame religious center that was opened to us is Tanlú and the region surrounding it. Here churches have now been established in the two communities of El Coco and Chacuala.

God has also established another third group of Believers in the Pame municipal seat of Santa Catarina where five more families have come to the Lord. From Santa Catarina, with much labor of personal evangelism and the whole of the local church working, doors have slowly begun to open into the next stronghold and religious center – that of Santa María Acapulco – an important tribal center with sixteen surrounding communities, and the very heart of the Pame ethnic region and religious area.

All contact here into the Santa María Acapulco region has been very difficult because of their strong cultural, animistic, and tribal roots. They have customs and traditions that are different from ours, they have their own government which they maintain autonomously, witchcraft and sorcery are powerful and deeply entrenched into daily life, and no one has been able to effectively enter here to date with the gospel. Government statistics have calculated that there are more than 16,000 indigenous Pame people living within the sixteen communities in the Santa María Acapulco region alone. Only a few of these have ever heard the gospel, but there are no pastors who go there.

The reason for this negligence is several-fold; first of all it is very far from so-called civilization. There are almost no toilets and most people simply defecate in the open. It is not necessarily that they live in poverty, but that there is a deep and profound level of ignorance.

Open air service – this is how the gospel is preached

However, here we also see a field ripe for harvest with communities full of children and people loving their language and their culture, and we recognize that the only way to reach them is by providing for their needs and belonging to their communities.

I ask God to give us grace so that they will receive us and consider us as a part of their community. It is for this reason that I believe that we need to buy a property within the community where we can build a simple structure and rooms where we can begin meeting the felt-needs of the community by attending to the necessities of the children and giving them meals and instructing them in the Word of God. By working with the children we will be able to gain the confidence and friendship of the whole of the community. In this way, when trust has been established, we will be able to go even deeper into the community by beginning to educate the adults in personal hygiene (since it is common to see human excrement everywhere). Then finally, after having gained their confidence we will be able to freely introduce the Gospel of Jesus from a vantage point of trust, having earned the right to be heard.

In truth, their religious adoration is purely demonic, and the whole region is steeped in deep spiritual darkness. They worship a human skull in their temple. They practice witchcraft and shamanism, and worship various Gods. They are zealous of their beliefs and animistic religious observances and pagan practices: mainly that of the Cult of Death. That is why we need to establish Life through the Word of God. He will strengthen our arms to conquer hearts with the Word of God.

Ministering in the Pame region from the back of Javier’s pickup

We thank you in advance for your prayers for us. We know that the God of Israel will cast Satan and all of his spiritual hosts from that place in the name of Jesus, and that together with your help we will conquer hearts through the Word of Christ Jesus.

Your prayers have mighty power. Together we bring down demonic strongholds, false religion, witchcraft, and sorcery in the name of Jesus.

Blessings my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ

Your servant,

Javier Santos

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God continues to miraculously open doors and show unimagined favor to Javier and Cristina and the missionary teams throughout the whole of the Pame region. New Believers are being added to the Body of Christ almost every time that the team goes into the region – usually every second week for several days.

Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven

The first evangelistic conference ever held in the region (mentioned in my last blog) was extremely fruitful, and many new souls gave their lives to the Lord. Besides this, there was also great favor shown to Javier and the team throughout the region, even in the governmental seat of Santa María Acapulco, heretofore closed to them. In fact, the town leaders even gave Javier permission to hold meetings in the grounds of the local Catholic Church yard because a priest never comes into the region unless paid several thousand pesos to do so. The leaders even assigned their local police force to the task of ensuring that nothing took place against Javier or the team during the meetings.

Indeed, it appears as if the community leaders in Santa María Acapulco will even grant permission for Javier to purchase a property there and give approval to continue to come into the community on a systematic basis to offer social and spiritual services. One of the men in leadership there told Javier that although he is not a Christian he could see the profound difference between Javier and others who proclaimed religion, and he was happy to assist his people by doing what he felt was a positive thing for them. God is miraculously opening doors that have been tightly closed for many years.

Many times new outreaches must also involve social ministry. Here is a distribution of used clothing in a Pame village

One Christian worker spoke to Javier in wonder at how God has rapidly been opening these communities to the gospel in recent months. He said that for many years no one has been able to penetrate these iron bars of darkness and hostility. However now, suddenly, God is blowing open formerly barred strongholds.

One of the tools that God is also using in the evangelization of this region is the Christian radio programming network called “Somos Radio Familia”( We Are Family Radio) that I mentioned in my last blog. They continue to broadcast Christian preaching and music into the region, and have built a new transmitter tower which has allowed their message to be heard even deeper into the mountains. For many Believers this is the only way that they can systematically be fed spiritually due to the great distances and difficult terrain between communities where they could worship with other Believers. A team from Somos Radio Familia have also come down to assist Javier and Cristina in the Pame evangelistic ministry on occasion.

This Christian broadcasting has been so successful that Javier and the mission team are now using a new tool in ministry among the far flung villages – they are giving small transistor radios to new believers. I love the ingenuity and common sense of this approach to evangelism! Javier told me that he is able to purchase simple transistor radios for around $225 pesos (about $15.00 dollars). With this tool these new believers can be mentored and grow in their knowledge of the Word.

The sharing of an open air meal with a new Body of Pame Believers. Fellowship over a meal is important in any culture

With this in mind I would personally like to challenge you as an individual, your Sunday school class, your family, your coffee group, your quilting guild, or your church to take this opportunity to raise funds for this very hands-on and practical project. If you could collect and raise funds for the purchase of these small radios for Javier and the missionary team to distribute, many more new believers could be mentored in their walk in the Lord. Perhaps rather than the $3.65 per day for a Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte coffee we could rather give the amount for a week or two to this ministry among the marginally-reached Pame. If you are interested in my challenge please feel free to email me at steve_frey_74@yahoo.com and we can come up with some plans.

A new group of Believers was “discovered” by Javier only very recently in a small community close to the already-established work in Tanlacut. Until only months ago Javier had no idea that they were there, and they had no fellowship with the other Believers only miles away where a Church has been established for some time. This small group of Believers was planted some years ago by an American missionary who has since returned to the United States. They have no pastor, and until “found” by Javier they had no outside fellowship with other Believers. Javier’s intention now is to involve them into the larger community of Believers already established in the area, namely that of Tanlacut, Agua Nueva, and Milpas Viejas.

Javier’s profound burden is to raise up leaders to advance the work among the unreached Pame tribal people. He also sees a deep need to strengthen and deepen Believers in sound doctrine.  Unfortunately many who have had some exposure to the gospel in the past have no sound roots, and even some in spiritual leadership lack any depth of solid doctrinal training and teaching. As stated in my last blog, Javier’s own words are “I also feel a burden to begin training men and women in leadership positions among these fledgling churches in doctrinal truths. I believe that in the very near future God will open the way for us so that we can teach systematic, foundational biblical truths among these Pame leaders so that the Church will be strengthened and grow into purity”.

As I also mentioned in the same blog, Javier sees a need to attend to the personal spiritual needs of pastors and other spiritual leaders already serving among these secluded groups in order to encourage them so that they can continue to minister. I further stated that Javier was told by these leaders that they felt a great need to be ministered to themselves so that they would have the strength to serve their flock. Many of them said that they often feel isolated and alone in the service of God. Javier then went on to say “The work of the Lord is difficult, and in many cases lonely”. He then reiterated, “As I also mentioned previously, there is also an urgent need to teach the truths of sound doctrine to these leaders. Many of them have a very limited knowledge of foundational doctrinal truths. To begin, I hope to have a full day conference for church leaders, elders, and spiritual laborers in the month of September to encourage and build up these dear brothers and sisters as they serve the Lord”.

I am thankful to be able to tell you that the September conference that Javier was praying about will become a reality. On the 8th of September Pastor Marty Dyer from Newsong Church, a long-time friend of the ministry and of Javier, will be teaching in an all-day conference along with Javier. We pray that this will only be the beginning of many such times of edifying the Pame Church.

Please continue to hold up Javier, Cristina and the missionary teams as they continue to penetrate into this region of deep spiritual oppression and darkness. Let us not be lulled into apathy or lack of prayerfulness because we see that God is apparently bringing spiritual advancement into this region so dominated spiritually by evil forces and demonic powers.

We must always remain mindful of what Paul stated in Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”.

Then, finally, I want to remind you to pray for the continuation of the finances needed for Javier and the teams to minister in this mountainous and difficult region. These ministry trips, pounding up and down the very bad mountain roads take a terrible toll on both body and vehicles alike. The cost of gasoline in Mexico, like everywhere, is increasing almost daily and is becoming a major expense for the ongoing ministry there.

Remember to pray for the people in Mexico as they face their fourth year of drought. Rivers are again dried up, crops are almost nonexistent in some areas, and the poor, especially, are suffering due to the heat and drought overlaid by out of control inflation.

Please remember to pray for Javier and Cristina personally as they pour themselves out in ministry. Locally, as they pastor the flock in their church in Solidaridad and the surrounding mission churches; Cristina as she ministers to the children in the Hidden Manna Feeding Program; and as she serves the women in the sewing program that she tirelessly runs. Besides all of this, please remember them as they spend more and more time ministering among the Pame Believers. Neither Javier nor Cristina are young anymore, and Cristina, especially, is not in good health. Please pray for health and strength for both of them as well as for their entire missionary team.  Javier confided with me very recently that the work, although exhilarating and blessed to be in the center of God’s will, is nonetheless exhausting, and that both he and Cristina are physically weary.

Also, Theresa and I covet your prayers as we are in a time of transitioning in our lives as well.

We love each of you and thank you for your prayers and your love for the people of Mexico.

Your fellow servants in the love of Jesus Christ our soon-returning King,

Steven and Theresa






One Response to “That Joy May Be Made Complete [by having you share in the joy of salvation]”

  1. […] Unfortunately there was a small glitch in the sending of my last Ministry blog dated August 8th: http://www.vitwministries.com/wordpress/2022/08/that-joy-may-be-made-complete-by-having-you-share-in… […]

    Events & Updates Blog commented on 10:56 pm on August 17th, 2022


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